Dr. Tara Gallaway along with Soccer Coach, Jaime Mailong, led a mission trip to Haiti this January. Dr. Tara Gallaway is in the Education Department and teaches the Service Learning course. After tremendous success with the mission trip to the Dominican Republic last spring, which had a Service Learning prerequisite, Dr. Gallaway decided to offer this year’s mission trip to Haiti to all students.
The fantastic group was composed of both Center for Continuing & Professional Studies students and traditional students: Kayla Vitello, Stacy Locklear, Tamara Gary, Sherman Norton, Darvy Soignet, Marjurie Ramirez, Dani Marietta, Allie Kennedy, Alexis Pereiro, Alex Saldivar, Samice Givens, and Kelly Thomas. In addition to our group of students, Dr. Gallaway invited three others that had traveled with her before to Haiti who wanted to return: Kailey Galloway ( Dr. Gallaway’s daughter), Maddy Davis, and Marah Deal.
“We were truly the hands and feet of Jesus and it felt so good to see our team of students from the Abbey transform lives in Haiti……while it transformed their own lives more than you could ever imagine. We all left a huge chunk of our hearts in Haiti and all of the students said they are changed forever! It was a fantastic experience!”~ Dr. Tara Galloway
The team worked with the Mission of Hope in Haiti from January 4th – January 11th. While there, they:
- built the foundation of a house which will be finished by a Haitian team who we provided jobs for
- built a latrine which will also be finished by a Haitian team provided
- three kids clubs, which provided praise and worship for kids in the village of Williamson as well as a meal for them (which may be the only meal they receive for the day or even the week)
- painted two houses planted 15 trees (these will be planted by a Haitian team in the village of Williamson because they weren’t ready while we were there)
- gave 4 solar lights to families in Williamson
- gave 4 sets of goats to families in Williamson
- gave 4 water filters to families in Williamson
The team had reflection and devotion time each night. Dr. Gallaway comments: “I have never seen a group grow so much in their faith in such a short period of time. The wall that can exist between Center for Continuing & Professional Studies and traditional students as well as commuting vs. on campus students was totally nonexistent and the connections that were made will last a lifetime. All of us left a huge piece of our hearts in Haiti, but what matters is the way we use the experience to change lives right here on the mission field in our own communities. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to lead this amazing group and be God’s vessel to help in the Mission of Hope’s dream to transform every man, woman, and child in Haiti. There was so much transformation in the lives of the Haitian people we were with…..but there was even more transformation in our own lives!”